Dean E. Elam of Litchfield, age 73, of Litchfield died on Friday, January 20, 2012 in Clear Lake, Iowa. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, January 26, 2012, at the First Lutheran Church in Litchfield. Visitation will be from 4:00 PM until 8:00 PM on Wednesday, January 25th at the church and will continue one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in the Lake Ripley Cemetery.
Dean was born on July 10, 1938, to Opal and Rosecella Elam on a farm south of Litchfield. The family later moved to a farm north of Litchfield, where he helped with milking cows and farming. He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church. Dean attended District 68 in rural Litchfield through the eighth grade and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1956. Dean met the girl of his dreams, Marlys Tewes, at a roller-skating rink. He married her on June 17, 1961 at Peace Lutheran Church in Hutchinson. They were blessed with four wonderful children and five grandchildren. When first married, Dean worked at 3M and lived in Hutchinson. Moving back to Litchfield, he ran the Standard Oil Bulk Dealership and farmed for a few years. Dean then became an owner/operator trucker working for Sammons Trucking. He also worked over the road in Alaska. Dean spent the last many years of his career driving truck for Polydome in Litchfield. He prided himself on having logged over a million miles and having had the chance to travel to each of the 50 states. Dean thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each of his customers personally as well as serving as the official family GPS, way before it was even invented. Dean enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and attending their activities. He could often be found at the hockey arena, baseball field, school, or church. Dean also enjoyed hunting, fishing and ice fishing as well as his morning coffee runs to the local Handi-Stop. He prided himself on being a handyman, whether it be car repair, taking care of his home and yard, blowing snow for his neighbors, or helping others with whatever needed fixing or doing. Dean was an active member of First Lutheran Church and served on the Church Council for the past couple of years.
He is survived by his wife, Marlys of Litchfield, MN; children, Richard Elam of Litchfield, MN, Jody (and Lonny) Foote of Brooklyn Park, MN, Mark (and Jodi) Elam of Litchfield, MN, and Troy (and Julie) Elam of Litchfield, MN; five grandchildren, Griffin Foote Solari, Tyler Sommerfeld, Danielle Elam, Emily Sommerfeld, and Noah Elam; brother, Gene (and Janice) Elam of Litchfield, MN; sisters, Carol Kadelbach of Hutchinson, MN and Sandy (and Jim) George of Atwater, MN. He was preceded in death by his parents, Opal and Rosecella Elam; and brothers, Allen, Lyle and Robert.